PPC landing page best practice.

You'd hoped AdWords would send you an inbox full of opportunities. Instead your conversion rates are < 1% and the kids are getting thinner.

Want to feel like an AdWords genius? Without rebuilding your campaigns from scratch?

I've seen landing page conversion rates double, triple, even 10x after applying these landing page design rules.

Rule 1. PPC landing pages are different to normal business website pages.

Visitors come to your business website to find out more about your firm. A landing page visitor doesn't care who you are at this stage. They want an answer to their problem.

Your business website is there to represent your firm. Your landing page is there to move a stranger one step closer to becoming a customer.

If you send PPC traffic to a business website instead of a landing page you're going to have a low conversion rate.

Rule 2: The back button is your biggest competitor.

You have seconds to get the searcher's interest before they're gone forever. It takes almost no effort to click the back button and try one of the other sites on the SERPs.

Here's how to make a great first impression.

  • Load the page fast.
  • Let the searcher know that they're in the right place. Make the first thing the searcher sees about what they're looking for, not about you.
  • Make the page relevant to what the searcher wants. This is easy with PPC landing pages because you can link your adverts to specific pages on the website. So if the ad is for someone looking for a Toyota forklift engine, show them a page about Toyota forklift engines.
  • Make the page look easy to read. Notice I said look. Most of your visitors will bounce off your landing page in seconds, long before they've had enough time to read every word. People decide to stay or go almost instantly. They decide on impression alone.

    Here are some things you can do to make the site look easy to read.

    • Make it responsive (It's not 1998 anymore. Your website has to look good on my iPhone or I'm gone.)
    • Use bigger text (17px at least).
    • Get rid of busy backgrounds.
    • Use white space. Paper is cheap on the internet, no need to crowd everything in.
    • Use a light background with a dark text.
    • Declutter the site. Throw out as much as possible. More about this later.

Rule 3: You can only have one main conversion goal.

You can only have one main conversion goal for your landing page. A page that tries to do be all things to all people does a poor job.

That goal should be the one next step that will lead your visitor closer to a sale.

If your goal is to get the visitor to fill in a form for a chat, don't try and get them to ask for a quote. If the goal is to ask for a quote, don't try and make a sale.

Rule 4: Page elements help or hurt conversion.

Every heading, logo, picture, link, paragraph, button and form either helps or hurts conversion.

There are no neutral elements. If you put it on the page it will either move the visitor towards the conversion or get in the way. It's either signal or it's noise.

Every element on the page adds cognitive weight. Your visitor needs to look at it, understand it is and then decide if it is going to help them get what they're looking for.

Rule 5: Make the action that supports the conversion goal prominent.

If your goal is an enquiry make the contact form prominent. Make the “Buy now” button prominent if the goal is a sale.

You give something prominence - make it stand out - using characteristics like:

  • Position. The earlier you show something on the page the more it stands out. Quick win: move most of the content to below the contact form if your conversion goal is an enquiry/lead.
  • Size. Larger is more prominent than smaller.
  • Contrast. Using a different font, colour, background etc makes something stand out.
  • Space around it.

Rule 6: Edit with a chainsaw.

Get rid of elements that don't help the conversion.

Scared to cut stuff out of your site? Let me tell you about one of my students. Peter Carruthers and I taught more than 1 000 small business owners to use AdWords to find new clients. One of our students, an architect, followed our training to the letter but missed one step.

She published a landing page without any words or pictures. It had the headline and the enquiry form but nothing else.

She launched her AdWords campaign to the empty site. About a month later she asked me for help. Her quality scores were mostly 2s and 3s. CTR was decent but the landing page experience was below average. She couldn't understand why Google didn't like her site because she was getting enquiries every day - about 9% conversion rate. It turns out that some significant number of people will fill in an enquiry form on the strength of the advert they clicked and the page headline alone.

If you can't (or aren't brave enough to) get rid of elements you can reduce their negative impact by making them less prominent. Try moving them lower on the page or making them smaller.

© Peter Bowen 2017 | Isle of Wight

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